Fr. Jim’s “Accompaniment” Report

This is the report on Mucio’s hearing today, Wed. April 27, 2011. He didn’t get asylum but was given voluntary departure. Mucio thanked me as he was led from court. I also thanked the judge and the other court personnel. Peace, Jim Hoffman OFM

Court Watcher: Jim Hoffman OFM Date: Wednesday April 27, 2011 Court: Immigration # B1330
Judge: In court Sheila McNulty ICE Lawyer: in court Bernard Curran
Interpreter: In court Alejando Guia Judge and court personnel knew that I was in court.
Via TV: Not used. Via Phone: Not used

No Family Members or friends in court. The respondent , through Sister Pat and JoAnn of the Interfaith Pastoral team at McHenry Co. Jail, had invited me as Court Watcher to be present.

This was a Hearing on an Application for ASYLUM

RESPONDENT: D.O.B. March 13, 1981. COUNTRY/ORIGIN: Mexico. TIME IN US: Since 2003 and has not returned to Mexico. TIME IN DETENTION: Since October 15, 2010. LAWYER: No Lawyer. INTERPRETER: In court.

OUTCOME: The respondent does not meet the requirements for political Asylum. Judge ordered Voluntary Departure to the Respondent by May 4, 2011.


TIES to The US: R not married but has a US child with his girl friend. R and his girl friend have separated for over a year. R does not have a copy of his child’s birth certificate. R’s parents and grandparents are deceased. R has a brother living in Chicago. R has two married sisters living in his birth village in Mexico. One of R’s brothers is deceased.

R fears returning to Mexico: In 2003 in El Paso, TX, R testified against a Smuggler, “coyote” and fears being tortured if he returns to Mexico. Gov. lawyer argued that R’s birth village in Mexico is 2000 kilometers from El Paso and his sisters know of his 2003 testimony and they have never been threatened. Judge ruled that R “did not demonstrate a clear danger of retaliation by the smugglers if he returns to Mexico.”

R does not meet the requirements for Political Asylum: Judge said: “R’s application for asylum should have been filed within a year of his entry into the US.”

Comment on the quality of the LEGAL representation and describe any negatives or unusual circumstances about any respondent’s lawyer. No lawyer.

General courtroom conduct: professionalism of judge, attorneys, staff, etc. Adequate. Off the record, the Judge read to R her findings and rulings. The translator moved his chair next R so he could do a simultaneous translation.

Other happenings of note not covered above or any other comments. The blower in the courtroom made it very difficult for me to hear. Also, I don’t know why R was handcuffed. It made it very difficult for him to sign documents and he had to be assisted by the court corrections officer, even when his chair needed to be moved closer to the microphone.


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